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Published: Apr 16, 2012

For some pet owners, a vacation is just not the same unless their canine companion is along for the ride. Many times this will involve airplane travel with your dog. Fortunately, just about all airlines allow dogs on flights, however, there are preparations owners must make beforehand to make sure their pet is safe and comfortable while in transit.

A visit to the veterinarian should be the first step before taking a trip, reports VCA Animal Hospitals. The vet can make sure the canine is up to date on all of its dog vaccinations, which is especially important when traveling to a new area. Many airlines require a health certificate for the dog, so it's often crucial to make an appointment with your vet before leaving.

The dog is going to be flying in a crate or travel carrier, so be sure the animal responds well to this. It may take several weeks of crate training before the dog is comfortable in the crate for extended periods of time. Pet owners with smaller dogs should check with their airline about possibly bringing the dog into the cabin. Many airlines will allow one dog in first class and one in coach as long as the crate can fit underneath the seat as a carry-on. Call the airline well in advance to arrange this.